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Invaders #12

Invaders #12

The Invaders stage a rescue mission from the Warsaw Ghetto … which is pretty damn grim. Why rescue just one guy? It’s a fine line they walk, in these World War 2 comics, especially if the book itself cites the existence of concentration camps. I expect there is an in-continuity reason why the superheroes don’t put paid to Hitler straight-away. Over in All-Star Squadron I seem to remember something about the Spear of Destiny seizing control of any hero who came too close to it. But still.

This issue also introduces Spitfire, the daughter of Union Jack, who gained her super-speed powers by a transfusion of the Human Torch’s blood. The Torch is sweet on her, but Spitfire only has eyes for Captain America. It is ever thus. Bonus points for a Holy Hannah.

  • Script: Roy Thomas
  • Pencils: Frank Robbins
  • Inks: Frank Springer

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Invaders Annual #1

Invaders Annual #1

There was a time when Roy Thomas could write scripts fully indulging his love of comics history, and I think comics were better for it. Here Thomas offers up a high concept for his World War 2-era super team book — an “anthology-style” annual, told in three parts, featuring the work of three different Golden Age comics artists, with a small bit of comics continuity patch-work thrown in for free. As a story told in threes, the tale required three bad guys, and Thomas gives us some real weirdos in The Hyena, Agent Axis, and the Shark. The Human Torch takes out the Hyena (guilty of blowing up army trucks, and bad fashion sense); Cap takes on Axis Agent, who is this weird amalgam of a German, Japanese, and Italian agent spliced together by a thunderbolt; and Sub-Mariner battles the Shark (of course), a goofball who wants to steal Subby’s underwear so that “… such water-proof and pressure-resisting materials” might be studied to equip an “… army of Nazi frogmen” (!)

Then it all wraps up with a fight between the Invaders and the Avengers, circa 1969, because of course and why not and because that dangling bit of continuity, originally written by Roy himself during his classic Avengers run, was catnip to Thomas. It’s an answer for questions no one ever asked but I love this stuff. The squirrelly Golden Age art bothered my eyes in 1977 but it is all just nostalgia now.

  • Script: Roy Thomas
  • Pencils: Frank Robbins
  • Inks: Frank Springer
  • Art: Alex Schomburg
  • Art: Don Rico
  • Pencils: Lee Elias

Click here for more Marvel 1977!

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